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Everything posted by petelempert

  1. My rear seat was rotten from years of sitting on wet carpet from the typical leaking wind channel. I got two semi rusted ones from CTC Auto Ranch in Denton Texas, then MIG welded parts up from all three to make one really good one. The good news is that the actual springs are universal to GM cars of the same era. They are un painted from the factory so even a really dry car could have rusty springs and seat frames. In my experience, most salvage parts cars have terrible rear seats parts. If you have some time and patience, you can probably restore yours. Also, its a good excuse to buy a MIG welder and learn. The welds on a seat frame don't have to look pretty. Only the upholstery guy will see. PRL
  2. I'm an optimist. I think it can be repaired and rebuilt. IMHO, it's better to try and stick with the balancer that came with the motor since it was tuned out of the factory with that unit. Conversely, if that balancer is not original to the motor, it's a different consideration. If the car ran well with this unit until it got loose, I'd focus on repair. Otherwise, send it to a balancer shop and tell them you need to match this units spec but with a new one. Just buying a replacement balancer off the shelf is a little risky since there is mo telling how its been tuned...if at all. I do not think the 401 is interchangeable with the 425. By the way, the specs on these motors is important, but there's no need to get all doomsday about it. A finely tuned balancer is life and death critical on a high revving nitro methane burning dragster. On a low revving nailhead, not so much. PRL
  3. I believe a common cause for this problem is that the bolt at the balancer and snout of the crank are not torqued to proper spec. It takes 220 ft/lb. I think a lot of mechanics don't know that and just get it as tight as they can with a conventional wench. At that torque its not unusual for the entire rotating assembly to move so you need to devise a way to lock the crank so it won't turn. If an un-knowing mechanic tightens the balancer nut at less than 220 or until the motor spins then quits, it will probably come loose. The effects of a loose balancer can be significant, primarily damage to the crank. If it were me, I'd get a new bolt/washer combination from Centerville Auto Repair (nailhead specialists), inspect the balancer and crank for damage(if OK), use a tiny amount of Loctite Green and borrow a big torque wrench that can hit 220. It might work out. It happened to me and boy does that motor run bad with a loose balancer. I survived. PRL
  4. Leather has a funny history in US cars. Early upscale cars had serious leather seating with upholstery that was much more like home furniture. Postwar luxury cars also had thick, heavy leather seating. If treated well, those interiors take on a patina that is really pleasing to some, but generally un-appealing to the restoration crowd. Very little of a modern car interior is actually leather...like hide from a cow. Most manufacturers actually call out "leather seating surfaces" which means pretty much everything on the seat is vinyl except the sides facing your butt and back. Add to that all the fancy marketing terms used to imply leather but actually describe a vinyl product. Alcantara leather is a term salesmen will tell you actually is leather with a straight face when really it's a spun textile of polyester and polyurethane. Todays Alcantara is yesterday's Morrokide. Suede, low glare dashboards on Corvette's are actually vinyl. Step into a King Ranch Ford pick up the days and its the best replication of what old school leather interiors were all about and yet most of that interior is actually vinyl. Interestingly, in Asia leather interiors are considered crude in upscale cars and silk spun interiors are considered ultra luxury. We live in a plastic age and consumers seem to care less and less about what something actually is and more about how it looks, feels and performs. Very little of the brushed aluminum trim you see in a modern car interior is actually metal. The fastest selling "hardwood look" home flooring product today is actually vinyl Nobody cares. PRL
  5. Regarding tires...when I was in high school I worked at a full service Exxon station so we checked the oil and tires of every car that came in. Most of the same cars came in every week or so. If customers told us they thought their tires looked flat, we'd fill them to 28PSI. If customers told us the car was riding hard, we'd lower the tires to 28PSI. Basically, whatever they said, we'd fill them to 28PSI and they never had another complaint. Radial tires had been around for a while, but people still looked at them and worried they were low. Over the course of two summers, I bet I filled thousands of tires to...28PSI. Today, no matter what the side of the tire says...guess what PSI I fill them to? PRL
  6. Classic Fabrication makes a set for first gen Rivs. Good fit. Sightly heavier gauge steel than factory. Not concours quality... made on a bead roller rather than factor press. Still a good value, good specs and easy to weld in. PRL
  7. You should see if Bernie still has that verde green continental suit. Suggest you try recovering your dash with that material. PRL
  8. Auburnseeker-Just noticed you are from Lake George. My parents have a summer house up there. It's all fun and games in the summer, but the winters are tough...really tough. I check the webcam at the Algonquin restaurant every day. Last few days have been brutal but beautiful. Hard to contrast pulling up to the Algonquin in a boat during the summer versus the current arctic wasteland vista. Stay warm brother. Riv on! PRL
  9. Not to add to your list of potential culprits, but I had a mystery ticking noise a few years back. I was sure it was either a bum lifter or cracked manifold but it turned out to be a loose harmonic balancer bolt. I was completely frustrated, unable to locate the noise and very reluctant to tear off either a valve cover or a manifold. One day, the ticking started to sound more like a slight chirping. Under a load, it sounded like a knock. I got down under the front of the motor while it was running and it was audible. You could even see a slight wobble in the harmonic balancer. Spooky, but I caught it in time before it damaged the crank. I was so busy looking for the culprit at the top of the motor I never thought to get down under it and listen. Worth a look...PRL
  10. My advice...close the door on the Riviera. Then walk across your garage, open the door on the Stingray featured in your member ID, open the door, start it up and drive it until you forget all about the popping sound on the Riviera. Just an idea. PRL
  11. A bummer...but I've seen worse. It can be fixed. PRL
  12. No...I think it's actually an Incinerator. PRL
  13. A far as painting manifolds I've had two experiences that work and some that did not. Jet Hot ceramic coating...yes. Eastwood rub on high heat cast metal coating...yes. Everything else...no. PRL
  14. It sold for $59K. I'm guessing those gauges will come off pretty soon. Regardless, thats really good money for a first gen Riv. Market is finally starting to show some respect. PRL
  15. Check out Bring a Trailer website today. Verde green 65 GS is the top listing and has got everyone talking. It's a beautiful Riv, currently at $35K and closes today. Its an interesting bellwether for our hobby since BAT is a broader orbit for automotive enthusiasts. PRL
  16. While you are trying out potions to stop the clatter, consider Rislone. It's an old school zinc additive. Back when I first got my 63, it had been sitting for years and made lot of tappet noise once I got it running. The Rislone actually did seem to quiet my old clapped out motor. Not even sure why. Maybe it was just the motor getting loose again and there Rislone had nothing to do with it. Regardless, I heard about it years ago from an old mechanic named Bill who taught me some good and bad habits. I think a lot of these additives are worth a try only because you are probably living on borrowed time on your motor anyway. I would have tried pouring bourbon in the motor if I thought it might help. I poured bourbon in myself instead and that definitely helped. On a brighter note, you might actually have an exhaust leak at the manifold. Lots of times, a small leak will trick you into thinking its a bad lifter. Same habit of ticking or being noisy at start up then quieting down after a few minutes. With a cracked/leaking manifold, you'll have similar noise until the metal expands and essentially closes the leak enough to conceal the sound. PRL
  17. Just like that Bernie...only his was brown. PRL
  18. Seems like the 70 model never got the love and respect of other years. Tell you what... ahigh school friend of mine inherited his Grandfathers 70 Riv and that car would smoke the tires off the line like a nitro methane dragster. PRL
  19. Mine was the most jacked up glovebox door in the history of all Rivieras when I got my car. Now it closes and opens like a well oiled switchblade. Seriously, it snaps open/shut with authority and lines up really well. Here's what I did: First, pulled the door off to inspect for damaged hinges/latches as mentioned previously. Second, put it back on (still jacked up) and lubed it well at all contact points. Third, loosened all contact points to hand tight status. Fourth, gently pushed the door to the closed position and lined it up so it's flush with the rest of the dash (if it won't fit right at this stage, you probably have a warpage or serous hinge issue). Fifth, take a strip of blue painter tape and run it across the top of the door pinning it to the dash. Finally, gingerly pry it open using thin wood strips (like popsicle sticks), don't let it snap up, once it's reached open position tighten all screws and enjoy. PRL
  20. Does it "whistle down slowly" when you shut it off? If so, my guess is brake booster or something in the brake vacuum system has a slight leak. PRL
  21. There are a couple of places (check Hemmings) that will rebuild them. Centerville Auto Repair centervilleautorpair.com helped me with a new bolt and washer for mine. I initially thought my balancer was bad, turned out it was loose, moving around the nose of the crank. I lucked out. The guy at CAR definitely knows his way around a nailhead. I've heard its often a good idea to rebuild the stock part that came with the motor from the factory if possible rather than use a replacement. Its all about the correct balance for the individual motor. PRL
  22. The Dynaflow is really a mindset. No doubt the later transmissions are more aggressive off the line and have crisper shifts. But, when you ease out of the driveway with a Dynaflow, it's sublime. Old school smooth. Seamless. Relax, enjoy the ride. They are hard to break if maintained. As others have noted, it is also kind of cool to nail the gas on an expressway entrance ramp and go past 100 mph without feeling a shift. PRL
  23. Check with CTC Auto Ranch in Denton, Texas. I go up there a lot and last I recall, there are still a few first gen Rivs with nice trim attached. Ask for Dave or Alan. PRL
  24. I had a similar problem with a 72 Cutlass. Failed headlight dimmer switch on the floor. Lots of power going through that switch. Worth considering. PRL
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